This Entrepreneurial Story is about Sumit Kumar who Founded ‘ucanrentbooks’ located Delhi, India.
About - Sumit Kumar founder of ucanrentbooks.com is a BBA graduate (2013) from GGSIPU. Did his 10th and 12th from Kamal Public school d-block. He came across the idea of online book renting while surfing on internet in his entrepreneurship class. From that moment he has devoted his days and nights in searching to know all the aspects of the industry.
When Started: 2 Aug. 2013
After starting of ucanrentbooks.com my co-founder left me because of some reason or he could not hold the bear the burden of work so I am the only founder of the ucanrentbooks.com working alone on the project and here we are with more than 20 customers and crossing 1000 likes on Facebook within 2 months without any paid advertising. Being the top discounter of book renting industry giving college books at 80% off from MRP . I never been in a 9 to 5 job but took an internship on social media marketing in a consulting firm for 2 months. I have love for music, participating in quizzes like I been a finalist in a quiz organized by Youth4BJP quiz at state level. In college I have organized many events like seminars, conferences, parties, etc. I am also a marathoner I love to run in my leisure time it keeps my strong determination up to date. I have a clear vision and picture of future of our company.
What motivated you to start your Business?
The Potential of book renting industry is huge in India but the practices are old like subscriptions and memberships. This stuff is outdated, today’s India need more in less. With that education is the sector which will always increase in positive. I have researched on the industry and found customers are not happy with the services and price of the rental. I too wanted to start my own venture I never looked for any job I have known from the beginning I will start something of my own. It all motivated me to start my business.
Tell us about your Business
Ucanrentbooks.com is an online book renting website which is going to take book renting to a whole new level. The price is best in the market the services are customer friendly like we are going to put old and new question papers. We are going to categorize books on the basis courses and universities so that students don’t need to search somewhere click on your university and get your books but its gonna happen in future. We provide free shipping, return back policy and we are not confined to any university or stream like engineering. Our policy is that you order the book and we deliver it. We have two discount rates for college books give are giving 80% off and for other books than college book we are giving 60% off on MRP. We even rent school books for 1 year on 60% off. We come with a package that no body can ignore
Which is the best Day in your life?
Pardon me but there are two moments of my life I like most whenever I thought of good times. The first is the moment when I slept on the shoulder of my father for 2 hours it’s the relief I cannot explain. After that day i have never slept on his shoulder because he was no more in this world. Other Best day in my life is 10 Aug. 2009 when my love life started with my first girlfriend. It’s like something out of this world. And every year I celebrate this day.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
It’s unusual skill of mine. It is net surfing on phone or on my laptop. There are times I have been scolded in house to over using of internet. Even on my birthday cake my friends write down happy birthday internet. But I know it’s a good habit because I used to search everything on internet which I heard and which I don’t know. I love google and it gave me best results to I have won many quizzes, been a finalist in the Youth4BJP quiz contest conducted in the Delhi state. And at last it helped me to get to an aim in my life my dream my website ucanrentbooks.com
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far?
There are great challenges really but I used to find their answers too like. When I started this venture after some days my co-founder left me. I was out of cash many times still we didn’t invested any big amount in our venture. I am promoting website alone in the colleges I used to wake up 7 o clock every day rushed on the college gate and distribute pamphlets after going that I goes to metro stations and distribute pamphlets on the metro station gates. My family is partially opposed me to do this venture. I am a fresher without any experience of industry at all. I myself created the website with no knowledge of HTML coding via a online website builder. Then there is a dramatic change in the business plan first we thought to categorize books on the basis of universities and courses but I failed due to leaving of my co-founder. I thought what to do then I took BBA first semester of GGSIPU, only one semester and university to serve but again I failed because there are very less orders then I changed the strategy to 60% off on books and start renting every kind of book from college to novels biographies but as you came to know I failed again because of a very realistic thing which opened my eyes and my business plan got its final face. Because of the local book rental markets existing in every corner of the city giving books at 60-65% off on books it made me to think of something higher perspective so I decided to go with 80% off on college books and this way all the challenges are been taken care of. I myself doing all the task and jobs I took order bought books for students and delivering it too. Now our challenges are advertising and funding for expansion.
How did you overcome these challenges?
The only way to overcome all this challenges is deep thinking. When I think I don’t think of profits and revenues I know they are important but we are initial stage of the business life what matters is the brand image and recognition. The passion for the job and the project is so high that not even once I think of shutting it down. I said so that I am alone in this venture I can do this and I am doing this. Right now we are in the process of venture capital they are currently reviewing our application. From the first moment when I think of this idea I know it has something into it and I will prove to everybody that this is not just a waste of time..
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
The most effective way is personally meeting them. I myself used to go college to college I spend hours on college gate giving them pamphlets and making them understand how money efficient we are and how we are saving their 80% of money. For that we have a live customer support on website that means live chat. We have a dedicated page for customers where they can chat with us and order their books on there. The more you get in touch with your customers the more they become your loyal.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
My simple advice to them is profit is not always important in business first spread your name and service and then that name will give you return and think out of the box. Don’t last as being a online book renting company give them as much as they want and what they need. More services like we have 10 days return back policy and 15 days grace period after the end of the rental period. Live customer care for them, notes for exams, current news feed, scholarships. For a student you can do more than just to rent books to them.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
There are hard times for me in this venture and still we are facing a bit hard time. But we know much innovative and creative we are to tackle all the hurdles. At the first day of this venture I have only a few hundred rupees with me. I didn’t know where from capital will come because m father in not alive I have my mother an one big brother Amit Mathur a IT engineer in the Accenture living in Bangalore and one little brother who is in 12th class. And here I am just given my exams of BBA last semester . Because I know this is the time of internet boom in India and there are players who are ready to get into this business so I have to start from now on.
And the most important thing that keep me motivated that I believe in this venture and I believe in myself.
What are your Marketing, Funding and Team Building Strategy?
- Currently our marketing strategy is word of mouth, paper media like pamphlets, flyers, internet viral marketing and social media marketing. In the future we are thinking to cover each and every college of the city to spread the word because they heard of us and our services they come to us to become our customer.
- In funding front we are investing our own investment to fulfilling orders of the customers and advertising the website right now we are in talks with Utthistha Seed funds for startups.
- In team Building I am looking for some young guns with same passion and dedication towards work who are innovative and creative.
In school I have organized a adventure program named as Teensters for 10th and 11th class students. This is something which imitated like MTV roadies we received over 100 applications of students and shortlisted 60 of them. This is one of its kind as in this we created challenging task for students their auditions and many other activities. Final event took place in Pargati Maidan with 4 finalists. It is the first event of mine and I am very proud of it. After that I with my few friends organized a nukkad natak on the demand of teachers of the school we directed writes down all the story and dialogues. It’s the experience which is quite creative and enjoyable. It is on a boy who works at road and wants to study so he earns from selling on road and studies in night and become successful in life after his struggle. We received a big applause from the administration of the school as it showcased in front of hundreds of students and teachers on the stage of the different school.
- After that in college I was selected in organizing committee of the college and successfully organized 12 events in the college.
- I was also in the editorial team of college magazine for 3 years.
- I have won the first stage of YOUTH4BJP GK quiz of Palam Delhi Constituency With 1st rank. Also selected as the finalist of the same quiz in the Delhi State.
- I was also in the cricket team of my college which secured 2nd place in the cricket competition of played in Era Business School Fest competing with 10 other colleges.
- I am also a marathoner I myself count it as an achievement because running 21 km in 1 hour and 58 minute obtaining the position of 934 in the crowd of 20,000 people. For its an achievement because I worked very hard to practice ad train myself to complete the whole race.
Whats your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is of lord Krishna “One can become whatever one wants to be if one constantly contemplates on the object of desire with faith”.
Who inspires you?
My Father and my mother inspire me. We were very poor but my father’s hard work and dedication towards his business transformed our life and my mother because she is bravely taking care of from 8 years after my father died.
Do you have a Business Philosophy?
Yes I do. Don’t give the customer what you have, give them whatever they want in which way they want, learn from your mistakes, keep moving forward, never put profit before the customers satisfaction and think like a customer before taking any business decision.
Startup Freak wishes Sumit, All the Best!